UCC Strategic Plan Goal 3

Global Engagement forms Goal 3 of Securing our Future, our Strategic Plan 2023-2028. Read on to learn more about our strategic ambitions for Global Engagement and our priority actions.

Colleagues from all over the world gather in the foyer of the Tyndall National Institute to celebrate cultural diversity

Global Engagement

About Goal Three: Global Engagement

Grow UCC’s international reach to amplify our global impact. 

UCC is a globally oriented university with an ambition to extend our reach and amplify our global impact. We value our partnerships and connections with individuals, alumni and organisations in Ireland and across the world. Our partnerships offer opportunities for mobility inwards and outwards and ensure that we maintain an international perspective in all that we do. They also provide the opportunity for us to bring Ireland’s unique culture and heritage to the world. Our research and our curriculum are informed by our global partnerships and support our ambition to extend our reach to like-minded institutions around the world.

A Global Engagement Plan, aligned with the refreshed UCC branding and marketing campaign, will work to establish mutually beneficial partnerships based on respect and shared values of global citizens. The central driver for international student recruitment will continue to be our internationalisation ambitions, where we recognise that deep understanding emerges from learning experiences that bring transnational perspectives to our curriculum. The flow of cultures and nationalities that populate our research and learning spaces enhances the development of intercultural communication skills and deepens connections with our alumni globally. By adapting our curriculum and developing a reputation as an institution that welcomes and embraces diversity, we will attract international students and staff to diversify the university community and its curriculum to reflect the international society in which we live.

We will also extend our global reach through an ambitious programme of alumni engagement. As a research-intensive, globally focused, internationally competitive  knowledge institution, our position in global rankings is important to our external reputation and development. In striving to strengthen our global engagement, we aim to continually improve our world ranking position, and aim to increase the proportion of our international staff and students. We will focus on maintaining and enhancing strategic partnerships, and we will align our globalisation efforts with our research and business community priorities.

Achieving the ambitions and priorities of this strategy will enable us to fulfil our potential and take our place as a truly global university, distinctive internationally for the quality and standing of its activities. We will achieve our internationalisation goals in fulfilment of our values and targets in relation to sustainability and climate action objectives. Our measures of success will include an increase in international staff and student numbers and growth in outward and inward mobility, including visiting professorships, PhD students and Fulbright and Sanctuary scholars. The emerging international education, research and innovation strategy being developed nationally will also inform our future direction and measures of success in global engagement.

3.1 Develop a Global Engagement Plan that drives a strategic approach to internationalisation and strengthens our global profile.

  1. Appoint a Vice President for Global Engagement to lead the development and implementation of a strategic Global Engagement Plan.
  2. Pursue membership of influential global university networks.

3.2 Significantly improve UCC’s external reputation and brand impact, including the acceleration of UCC’s improved position in the global university rankings.

  1. Develop and implement a refreshed marketing and brand campaign to differentiate the University, including systematic processes for storytelling as a medium to enhance our reputation and brand impact nationally and internationally. Engage and involve students and staff in these efforts.
  2. Strengthen the identity and the prominence of the Irish language across the University to ensure the sustainability of our language and heritage.
  3. Implement the Arts and Culture Plan to demonstrate UCC’s unique contributions to the arts and to our rich culture, and to enhance our reputation nationally and internationally.
  4. Accelerate UCC’s improved position in select global rankings by prioritising and actioning key areas for improvement including student:staff ratio and research citation performance.

3.3 Internationalise our curriculum and our research through strategic partnerships and mobility.

  1. Further develop a select number of strategic local, regional, national and international partnerships to bring tangible benefits to our research and teaching.
  2. Optimise UCC’s strength in civic and community engagement for local and global impact across research, teaching and strategic partnerships, enhancing our reputation internationally as a thought leader.
  3. Optimise UCC’s engagement with Erasmus and the European Universities Initiative, deepening our global engagement in collaboration with our partners.
  4. Leverage and commit to participation with regional partners in the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities. Measure and pursue specific strategic objectives from a lifelong learning, economic development, inclusion, and sustainability perspective to meet National Development Plan 2021–2030 and regional development ambitions.

3.4 Promote greater diversity among our staff and students in line with our values, including through UCC’s role as a University of Sanctuary.

  1. Increase the inward and outward mobility of students and staff, including through exchange programmes and sabbatical leave.
  2. Grow the number of international students and staff in line with our internationalisation ambitions.
  3. Develop and implement a University of Sanctuary Action Plan.

3.5 Inform, empower and mobilise alumni, friends and partners in support of our ambitions.

  1. Sustain and grow philanthropic income.
  2. Identify the top-priority projects for a strategic fundraising campaign.
  3. Increase the focus on donor relations and stewardship to thank and recognise partners and friends of UCC nationally and internationally.
  4. Recruit, support and steward a network of international alumni ambassadors (volunteers) to support philanthropy, brand, reputation, global engagement and international recruitment.
  5. Achieve a step change in alumni and stakeholder engagement through new segmented and targeted engagement programmes that deliver clearly articulated mutual benefits.

Securing our Future - UCC Strategic Plan 2023-2028

Global Engagement forms Goal 3 of Securing our Future - UCC Strategic Plan 2023-2028. This plan outlines UCC's vision, mission and values as well as five main goals for the university over the next five years. 

Our Vision

UCC connects and empowers people to create knowledge that shapes a sustainable and inclusive world.

Our Mission

UCC’s mission is to create and sustain an inclusive environment and culture to enable transformative research and learning for the enrichment of society and stewardship of our planet.

Our Values

It is important to have distinct values for our organisation, so that they can guide everyday behaviours and decision making. The core UCC values are:

  • Compassion
  • Agility
  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Discovery
  • Equity
  • Accountability
  • Sustainability

Our values are represented in the mnemonic CAIRDEAS, the Irish for “friendship”, as they underpin our relationships and engagement with the local and global UCC community and all our partners.

Visit our Strategic plan website to read more about the overall plan »

Global Engagement

Caidreamh Domhanda

College Road, Cork T12 K8AF,

  • vpglobal@ucc.ie
  • Professor Ursula Kilkelly, Vice President Global Engagement